How to Discourage a Skunk?

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How to Discourage a Skunk?
I've been googling the subject and found a lot of disjointed input. Thought I'd try to focus the issue and get some ideas about the relative merits.
My yard is fenced on two sides and the back, with 6' chain link, but the front is open on both sides. I have a 6'x8' metal shed in a back corner about a foot from the fence. It sits on a wooden platform on cinder blocks that were intended to seal the perimeter.
A skunk has made the area under the shed one of the homes on his route.
I've killed one skunk with ammonia, boy was that a mess, but another has taken his place.
I keep plugging his access holes, but he makes new ones.
So, I've been looking at alternative strategies.
Conventional wisdom is that you can bury fence about two feet deep around the perimeter to solve the problem. Given my lack of tools and the amount of time I'm willing to expend, I'm thinking that there's no way I can bury two feet of fence without seriously impacting the soil density and will have settling problems. So, What about laying the fence flat just under the surface for two feet around the perimeter of the foundation? Is the little bugger likely to figure out that he has to back up two feet to get under it?
How about opening up the perimeter??? What does the guy want? He wants a safe place to sleep.
Instead of trying to seal the perimeter, what If I raise it up another cinder block just at the corners so there's no shelter under there? Is that likely to discourage him?
I'm also looking at active deterrents. Like a stun-gun that fires off a couple-hundred-thousand volts into a wire grid every few minutes. That's a lot simpler than motion detection.
Ideas? mike
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mike wrote:

How about a radio controlled car? It won't mind be sprayed and if you annoy the skunk enough it should go away:-)) Besides, fun for you.
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On 8/14/2011 4:56 AM, mike wrote:

Any evidence he is also getting dinner in your yard? Holes where he roots for bee hives or whatever, or any sign he is cleaning up spillage around your bird feeder? I haven't seen any skunks in my yard this year since the bees gave me a skip, and since I quit feeding the birds in warm weather once the seed price more than doubled around here.
(Not sure why I didn't get any ground bees this year, first time in six years I have been here. I didn't want them all to die, since I know they serve a function- I just wanted them to not be where I mow over them.)
--
aem sends...

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this is why wood sheds are a bad dea, animals move in.....
skunks are nocturnal normally only active at night.
why does the skunk bother you?
you dont like animals in your yard? afraid of getting sprayed? whats your reason?
you have several solutions...
have a professional trap and relocate any skunks that move in.......
fence in the remainder of your yard
move the shed, lay a concrete floor, move shed back jack up and remove the wood floor altogether
get a dog, the skunk will move on to a quieter location...
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Like hell it will. Get a dog, and the OP's next question will be "how do I get skunk smell out of my dog's coat?".
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On 8/14/2011 9:14 AM, Doug Miller wrote:

Chortle. But unless it is a dumb dog, they will probably only have to do it once.
--
aem sends...

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On Sun, 14 Aug 2011 13:14:10 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@example.com (Doug Miller) wrote:

Probably, if the dog is noisy enough to bother a skunk. [and if he was that noisy, I'd shoot the dog and live with the skunk.]
I've got a dog. But he's pretty quiet, so I guess that's why we have a couple of resident skunks that don't bother us.
Jim
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mike wrote:

raised wood deck. Metal fencing fastened to the framing around the deck and bent outward to lay flat a few inches underground (about a foot of horizontal run) did the trick. He always dug right at the horizontal fence line, leaving numerous abandoned excavations.
Dunno whether skunks are smarter. If yours reads usenet, this won't work.
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On 8/14/2011 4:56 AM, mike wrote:

on the lower wall surface of the shed. Then run it down towards the ground and actually into the ground. You have to dig a trench about 6" deep and about a foot out from the shed. The hardware cloth then goes down and right angles out away from the shed. Then fill it back with dirt. I had skunk under my concrete front stoop and under a wooden shed. I did it on both and it worked perfectly. BTW, after installation, they will try to dig, but when they encounter the metal screening, they will move on. The local animal control officer suggested this. She also said that new places to live are "cheap" and plentiful, so they will find another place elsewhere.
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I prefer the blow-the-sombitch-clean-away with a shotgun approach, but these days, killing any animal will get you more jail time than being a serial killer. Can't even shoot a bear unless it's already eviscerated you and you had to scooped up yer own entrails to reach/unholster your .44 mag revolver to get a shot off. Damn tree huggers.
nb
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mike wrote:

I've removed about 2 dozen skunks from around my urban home over the past 6 years.
I have a small video camera that I keep on my front porch hooked up to a small TV in my den, beside my regular (large) TV. When-ever I'm watching TV, I can see what's going on in my front yard. That's how I know when a skunk is around (it probably doesn't help that I usually have cat food sitting out on the porch as well).
How do I catch them?
I have a large fishing net and a plastic garbage can standing by at the side of my house. When I see a skunk, I'll put on my rubber boots, and (if it's nearby) one of those inexpensive painting respirators that have a couple of cartriges and cover your nose and mouth. I'll grab the net and approach the skunk and force the net down on top of him/her. Sometimes they try to scurry away as I'm doing this, sometimes they stand their ground and stomp their feet. They never let loose a spray until I've got them hanging in the net as I'm carrying them to the garbage can. They can't aim the spray when they're in the net, but the smell can hang in the air which is why I'll use the respirator when I can. There's a faint smell sometimes on my clothes or in my hair, but washing them will get rid of it.
Once in the garbage can, I put the lid on the can, secure it with bungee chord, put it in my truck and drive it about 7 miles to a relatively rural area (with a stream nearby) and let them go. They run away without much of a fuss.
Since I also trap racoons (with a regular trap) sometimes I'll catch a skunk in a trap. Which is a bit of a pain because naturally it can spray throught the cage if it wants to. So I'll take my garbage can and slide the trap into the can and that basically solves that problem, and take him out to his new home that way.
Something I've noticed is that since I've been agressive at removing skunks over the years, I've seen hardly any around here over the past 2 or 3 years. So I think that if you can make a dent in their population this way, they're slow to recover and you don't have to do too much along the lines of "discouraging" them from trying to make a home on your property.
I've recently seen what amounts to a closed-shell skunk trap which is similar in size and shape to the medium-sized racoon traps. Sort of the same size and shape as an airline golf-bag luggage shell. They go in, the trap closes, and you can carry it away without being exposed to direct skunk spray.
I wouldn't mess around with killing them. It would take me hours to dig a decent hole in my hard clay soil. With catch and release, the whole thing is over in 20 minutes.
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Wild America on PBS yesterday was about skunks. They are beneficial critters,eat rodents,snakes,and bugs. they probably come around because there's a food source.
Of course,you don't want to run into them or corner them. Or have them make a burrow under your porch. :-)
--
Jim Yanik
jyanik
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Jim Yanik wrote:

Heh. Food source. I do a lot to keep the birds fed and watered in my back yard. And I keep kibble on the front porch for my cats, plus any strays that come around over-night. I'd rather see the birds eat the bugs vs the skunks. Zero problem with snakes and rodents around here. No rats period. Some mice, moles and voles (which the cats take care of when the urge comes over them). I even see the odd possum.
Which is why I don't want racoons and skunks eating that food and getting their infectious spittle all over any dishes or bowls I leave out. Cats can catch some nasty things from racoons and maybe skunks too. Also in the late winter or early spring, sometimes the skunks will fight in the early morning and spray each other and when that happens near my home's furnace makeup air-intake, I get really mad when I wake up to the smell of skunk in the house in the morning.

While I agree that generally you *can* just leave them alone because they're nocturnal and they hibernate in the winter thus you'll almost never be bothered by them, something will cause them to let loose a spray every once in a while and that's reason enough (for me) to not want them around.
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Red Green wrote:

Yea, I do sometimes see evidence of digging in the lawn, but there really isin't a grub problem around here. Lawns are mostly in good shape. I've put down grub killer in the past. Crane flys have also caused minor problems in the past.
I think they come because of the bird seed. And I have a feeding station for squirels on the ground in the back, usually put shelled peanuts and sunflowers in that (better that then have them knaw the bark on the top side of of tree branches).
There's always the garbage to try to get into, as well as flower bulbs and other desirable plants.
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Home Guy wrote the following:

It could be worse than small animals getting into the garbage.
http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/109/bearjj.jpg/
--

Bill
In Hamptonburgh, NY
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On 8/14/2011 12:27 PM, willshak wrote:

Hey Boo Boo, I smell a pick-a-nick basket! :-)
TDD
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I don't think skunks eat bird seed. peanuts might do it.
--
Jim Yanik
jyanik
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On 8/14/2011 10:29 AM, Home Guy wrote: (snip)

Note that in many areas, animal relocation without a permit is illegal, in some cases for pretty good reasons like preventing spread of diseases or parasites. May wanna do a little checking around online for the rules in your area before telling people what you do.
Plus of course, for some species, relocation amounts to a death sentence anyway- the local occupants of the same ecological niche aren't likely to be welcoming to visitors on their turf. That, and animals can find there way 'home' over amazing distances. A buddy of mine tried relocating raccoons out of deference to his then-young daughters. After the third time, he tagged it with spray paint. When it showed up again a few days later, he sent the wife and daughters shopping for a few hours.
--
aem sends....

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I'm guessing that: 1) your sense of smell isn't as good as you think it is 2) you live alone.
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Not only foolish, but in some places, illegal. Ever hear of rabies?
http://www.denverpost.com/news/ci_15834687
nb
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